Graduate Admission FAQs

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When are your application deadlines?

For September 2024 entry, the online admissions portal opens on September 1, 2023, and the official deadline is December 15, 2023. Applicants are responsible for checking their own applications to ensure that all documents and references are submitted by December 22, 2023 (one week after the official application deadline).  Applications missing unofficial transcripts, a proposal, two letters of reference, demonstration of English language proficiency (where applicable), or the research writing sample (PhD applicants only) will not be considered.  

We offer only September entries, and late applications are considered at the discretion of the Graduate Admissions Committee. 

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How much are your application fees?

The current application fee is described in the most recent graduate calendar.

The application fee is set by the Faculty of Graduate Studies and is based on whether all post-secondary transcripts come from institutions within Canada or from institutions outside of Canada. 

It cannot be waived, is non-refundable, nor is it credited towards tuition fees.  Applications will only be processed by the Graduate Admissions and Records Office after the application fee has been received.

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How do I pay the application fee?

You will be prompted to pay this fee by credit card as part of the online application process.  If you do not have a credit card (or experience difficulties with the online application form) contact the  for assistance or information on how to pay by wire transfer.

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What are the minimum GPA requirements to apply?  Where can I find the minimum GPA requirements for my country.

The minimum GPA requirements are fully explained on the minimum requirements page. 


  • LLM applicants require a law degree with a GPA equivalent of Upper 2nd Class standing.
  • PhD applicants require a graduate degree with a GPA equivalent of 1st Class standing.


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Can I apply with an MBA or undergraduate degree?

Applicants to our LLM program must have a Juris Doctor (JD), Bachelor of Laws (LLB), or equivalent law degree completed before the start of the program.  LLM applicants are not required to have passed the bar but must have a law degree from an authorized degree granting institution (Canadian or International).

Applicants to the PhD program must have sufficient undergraduate and graduate educational background in law with an average of A- (7.0/9.0 GPA) in graduate-level courses. Applicants with sufficient undergraduate and graduate educational background are eligible, but most applicants will have a Juris Doctor (JD), Bachelor of Laws (LLB), or equivalent law degree and an LLM.  All PhD applicants must have a master's level degree before the start date of the program.

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I have an international law degree. Will completing your program allow me to practice in Canada?

Completion of our graduate degrees will not permit you to practice law in Canada nor should you expect them to satisfy any requirements to practice law in Canada.

If you are interested in practicing in Canada contact the National Committee on Accreditation (NCA) for an assessment of how your current education and experience meet Canadian requirements.  The UVic JD admissions office does consider a limited number of NCA applicants.  At UVic, NCA students are only permitted to study during summer session and cannot be concurrently enrolled in our graduate programs.

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What are the minimum acceptable TOEFL or IELTS scores you accept?

The minimum English language requirements for the Faculty of Law are higher than the minimums set by the University of Victoria:

  • iBT TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) - score of 100 (with no score of less than 20 on each component of the test).
  • IELTS (International English Language Testing System) - score of 7.0 (with no score of less than 7.0 on each academic component of the test).

Scores older than two years from the date of planned entry (September) will not be accepted.  Unofficial scores that meet the minimum requirements must be submitted by the document deadline before you will receive an offer of admission.

Duolingo tests are not accepted by the University of Victoria's Faculty of Graduate Studies.

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My first language is English or my degree was in English; is an English-language score still required?

If your first language is English or you have a recognized degree from an institution where the language of instruction is English, you may be able to provide alternative proof.  The English language proficiency requirements for the Graduate Program in Law and Society are fully explained on the minimum requirements page.

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What if I do not meet the minimum requirements?

Candidates with GPA scores lower than required are rarely admitted.  In exceptional circumstances, applicants with slightly lower than required GPA scores may be admitted based on the outstanding quality of their research proposal and references.  LLM applicants must also meet the criteria for admission as a mature student.

If your TOEFL or IELTS scores is lower than required, you must retake the test and submit scores that meet the minimum requirements before you will receive an offer of admission.

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What if I'm still completing requirements for my current degree?

If your current degree is still in progress, but will be complete before the September entry term, you can apply with your in-progress transcripts and other required elements. The Graduate Studies Admissions Committee will review your application according to the usual process.  If you receive a provisional offer of admission based on your in-progress degree, you must submit official transcripts and any other required documents showing that you have completed that degree before you will receive the full offer of admission.

If you have any concerns about this timeline in regard to study visa applications, please review the UVic International Student Services information about immigration documents.

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Do I need to find a program supervisor before I apply?

You do not need to have a supervisor lined up at the time of application. Normally, the law supervisor (or co-supervisor) is determined during the course of the admissions process and the remaining committee members are determined after a student's arrival. Applicants are only admitted to the program if a suitable faculty member is available to supervise their research area.

You can view a list of graduate program faculty members here, with links to their full profiles and current areas of graduate supervision. You should specify in your research proposal the faculty that you would like to work with, and explain why.

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Is there a minimum residency requirement?  Can I take the program remotely or online?

The normal expectation is for students to be in residence in the Program for the first 12 months of their graduate studies. In exceptional circumstances or matters of accommodation, however, the residency requirement may be reduced or waived altogether. Please contact the Director if you have any questions about the residency requirement.

Subsequent terms can be completed off campus with the permission of your law supervisor.

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How many new students do you accept each year?

We normally accept between 8 to 12 new graduate students each year.

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How many applications do you receive each year?

We receive approximately 100 completed applications each year.

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When will I know if I am accepted?

Our Law Graduate Studies Admissions Committee normally meets in February and we begin sending our first round of offers starting in February.  Depending on the responses to our offers and the length of our waitlist, we normally notify all applicants of our decision by the end of April.

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May I defer my acceptance to a subsequent year?

As a general rule, we do not offer deferrals to entry dates, but encourage applicants to reapply. Once we have admitted an applicant, there is a good chance we will do so again as long as the same supervisory resources are available.

You will need to re-submit your application, documents, application fee, and assessment reports.  If you had previously submitted official documents, then if a new offer of admission is made then we will help you assess if you need to resubmit those documents.

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How much are tuition and fees?

Visit the Tuition webpage for current tuition and fee amounts.

Tuition and fees typically increase May 1 of each year. Ancillary fees typically increase September 1 of each year.

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What is the approximate cost of textbooks and printing for the program?

We recommend that you budget $1,000 in total for books and printing costs. This will fluctuate depending on whether you prefer to work from online or printed materials.

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How can I pay my tuition and fees?

Visit Accounting services for details on where and how you can pay your tuition and fees.  Graduate students also have the option of participating in the Graduate Student Tuition - Income Offset Plan.

Please note: tuition fees cannot be paid using a credit card.

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What are the options and costs to live in on-campus housing?

Visit the Residence services Graduate students page for current on-campus accommodation options and rates.

Many graduate students choose to live in off-campus housing.

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How much does it cost to live in Victoria?  How can I budget?

You will find helpful budget estimates and information, including a sample budget, on the Student Awards and Financial Aid website.

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Do you offer scholarships or bursaries?

All applicants are automatically considered for internal funding during the admissions process. You do not need to submit a separate application; instead, your eligibility is determined based on your application to the program.

You are encouraged to apply for external funding before, during, and after the admissions process.  Visit the Scholarships, Awards and Bursaries webpage for further details.

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